MONZA, Italy – Ferrari was first- and second-fastest in Friday’s first practice ahead of the 2018 Italian F1 GP but Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson’s day ended with a ”spectacular” crash.
Sebastian Vettel clocked fastest at 1min21.105, team mate Kimi Raikkonen was 0.270sec slower with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton third-fastest but going into the Monza race with a 17-point title lead.
Hamilton was reported by Reuters as saying: “We did a few laps but after that it was like having a day in the office when you don’t have too much work to do – I was even snoozing in the car at one point.
”We did plenty of laps this (Friday) afternoon in the dry and noted that, as at Spa, that we had a small gap to Ferrari.”
The agency also reported that ”the main drama on a damp and overcast afternoon was provided by Ericsson”.
He crashed head-on into the barrier track barrier even before any car set a timed lap and barrel-rolled four times along the grass, causing a 20-minute stoppage for a track clean-up.
A medical report said the Swedish driver was fine and the man himself added on Twitter: “It was a big one. It’s incredible the safety of the cars these days. I feel fine and I hope we can be back tomorrow (Saturday) and fighting.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, just delivered of an upgraded Renault engine, will take penalties that will send him towards the back of the grid and Hollander team mate Max Verstappen was fifth and faster in the afternoon with the older engine.